Are we harming our children and pets with what we are putting on our lawns?
Having a beautiful lawn should not come at a cost to you, your kids or your pets health. But the reality is, that so many people are putting pesticides and fertilizers on their lawn that contain harmful and toxic materials. WANT GUANOBOOST?
Our search for the perfect lawn can carry a high price tag
Each year U.S. homeowners apply more than 3 million tons of synthetic lawn fertilizers and 70 million pounds of lawn pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals pose serious hazards to our children, our pets and wildlife of all kinds. To make matters worse, it’s estimated that 65 percent of these chemicals find their way into our lakes, rivers and underground aquifers. With water shortages and droughts becoming commonplace, it’s also becoming much more difficult and more expensive to pamper a chemical- and water-addicted lawn. Credit and Source Gardeners.com
The US Wildlife Federation also reports these environmental effects of our lawn care practices:
The average lawn gets up to 10x as much chemical pesticide and herbicide use as commercial farmland! This means that the grass your children are running on barefoot probably contains more chemicals than commercially sprayed wheat, corn, and soybean crops. (Obviously, this isn’t great for pets either!)
When these chemicals are used as much as 90% of the earthworm population in a lawn is killed. This is very detrimental for the soil over time.
1 – The risk to children
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that household and garden pesticide use can increase the risk of childhood leukemia as much as seven-fold.
in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared 2,4-D (an ingredient used in many over the counter pesticides and garden products) a possible human carcinogen, based on evidence that it damages human cells and, in a number of studies, caused cancer in laboratory animals.
The National Academy of Sciences reports that children are more susceptible than adults to pesticides and other environmental toxins. This is because. pound for pound, children take in more pesticides relative to their body weight, their detoxification system is not fully developed and their developing organ systems are more vulnerable.
Pesticides, along with other environmental factors, cause and trigger asthma. Common herbicides, 2,4-D, mecoprop, dicamba, and glyphosate are respiratory irritants that can cause irritation to skin and mucous membranes, chest burning, coughing, nausea and vomiting.
The evidence is slowly mounting—but not yet conclusive. It’s not always easy to determine whether a particular substance is causing harm or just happens to be present when some other agent is to blame. Public health experts can’t always draw a firm conclusion from studies whose methodologies are lacking in scientific rigor. Take the link between chronic exposure to 2,4-D and cancer: “The evidence isn’t clear enough to draw conclusions with confidence, but it is better to take precautions to prevent possible cancers than to wait for more evidence,” says Jennifer Sass, an NRDC senior scientist. Source
“The reality is, even if there is just a concern about any of the ingredients in some of these products, is it worth taking the risk, I don’t think it is”.
2 – The risk to pets
“Lawn chemicals, particularly ones containing 2,4-D, have been linked to at least two types of canine cancers. Studies found that lawn chemicals travel to neighboring yards and inside homes, and chemicals have been found in the urine of dogs whose owners did not spray their lawns.” Source
2,4-D made up about half of the ingredients of Agent Orange used in Vietnam, though most Agent Orange problems are said to have been associated with dioxin according to the Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and University of California at Davis.” Source
In 1991 a U.S. hospital-based case-control study of companion dogs funded with public money was published by a team from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program. They found that dogs whose owners used the herbicide 2,4-D on their lawns 4 times/year or more were twice as likely to develop Canine Malignant Lymphoma as dogs whose owners did not use 2,4-D, saying their findings were “consistent with occupational studies in humans, which have reported modest associations between agricultural exposure to 2,4-D and increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” Source
Another study published in 1994 by researchers at Colorado State University provided further evidence for concern by examining whether dogs absorb 2,4-D and excrete it in urine after their owners used the lawn herbicide. The study found a correlation between recent application of the lawn herbicide and measurable 2,4-D in the dog urine. More worrisome was that some dogs had small amounts of 2,4-D in their urine even though their owners had not recently applied 2,4-D on their lawns. This raised the possibility that the dogs had been exposed to 2,4-D on neighboring lawns and at parks. Source
Note, credit for section 2 to this Source
So what can you do to protect your children and pets from the harmful effects?
Well, if you are going to use products that contain any potentially harmful ingredients, use them strictly in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines and take precautions, such wear gloves, masks and eye goggles.
However, it is also possible to seek out natural, organic ways to boost your garden.
Converting to a natural, low-maintenance lawn—one that you can feel good about and that’s also low maintenance—is easier than you may think as there are many good organic products out there.
For example, GuanoBoost is a 100% organic fertilizer that contains 100% organic Guano Bird fertilizer, harvested in an environmentally friendly way of the coast of Namibia in Africa.
Use natural lawn fertilizers to provide essential Nitrogen to your lawn.
Why use natural fertilizers instead of synthetic lawn fertilizers? Because they are better for your grass, the environment, AND are not harmful to pets or children and they are proven to work better than synthetics and in the case of Guanoboost, the all-important nitrogen Levels are FAR HIGHER at 16.5%. This is because it is made from 100% Guano Bird Fertilizer. Seabird Guano is one of the best organic fertilizers in the world today.
The seabird guano used in GuanoBoost is sourced sustainably using environmentally friendly methods from Namibian Islands. GuanoBoost is produced locally in South Africa and contains 100% natural ingredients.
All growing plants need 17 critical elements to grow to their full potential and of these, nitrogen is the most important. Nitrogen is so vital because it is a major component of chlorophyll, the compound by which plants use sunlight energy to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide (i.e., photosynthesis). It is also a major component of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
Nitrogen is essential to making sure lawns are healthy as they develop. That’s because nitrogen is essential in the formation of protein, and protein makes up much of the tissues of most living things.If you want the best possible lawn you can have, then you need to apply a natural fertilizer, high in Nitrogen levels.
A recent study by Austin’s Watershed Protection and Development Review Department, with the collaboration of Texas A&M, showed that organic and natural lawn fertilizers actually produce greener lawns than synthetics. Moreover, natural fertilizers are healthier for your family and for the environment!